Why I will be aiming for a January baby:

Since youth sports are organized by age bracket, teams inevitably have a cutoff birth date. In the European youth soccer leagues, the cutoff date is Dec. 31. So when a coach is assessing two players in the same age bracket, one who happened to have been born in January and the other in December, the player born in January is likely to be bigger, stronger, more mature. Guess which player the coach is more likely to pick? He may be mistaking maturity for ability, but he is making his selection nonetheless. And once chosen, those January-born players are the ones who, year after year, receive the training, the deliberate practice and the feedback — to say nothing of the accompanying self-esteem — that will turn them into elites.

Since I spent a good deal of my adolescence going to temple where I was constantly reminded that money shouldn’t affect the way people interact, I didn’t fully experience this phenomenon until college. My parents weren’t what you’d call rich, but they had all the semblances of a middle-class family that was doing decently financially – homeowner, two-income family, able to send kids to college, and working hard at it – so I was fairly sheltered from having to make that distinction. All my friends went to public school, so nobody was extraordinarily rich.

It wasn’t until college that I met “rich people”. At first I didn’t believe rich people led such different lives that they would wear an entirely different attitude, but I didn’t realize how rich they were. I wouldn’t get it when people would change wardrobes seasonally and donate their two-season old clothing to Salvation Army, when I sported my $10 loafers around all year. I didn’t buy a new pair of jeans from high school until senior year in college, when I realized I couldn’t go to paintball or the gym wearing my suit pants. I didn’t socialize as much because I didn’t want to spend money on eating out, because that money is supposed to go towards paying my tuition. At one point I was debating whether to participate in a group volunteer mission where each volunteer would pay her own airfare, and a woman made a naïve comment that it was only $500, that it wasn’t a big deal at all. I was bristled of course, for what kind of adult would make such a cavalier statement to a college student juggling work and school so she can continue going to school? She didn’t know of course, and it wasn’t her fault.

In retrospect, it would’ve been nice to be in her shoes.

Nowadays, my friends are still more or less in the same bracket. Those that made it in banking and finance are definitely better off, are able to take better vacations, check off tasks that involve money off their list faster, and can afford to take more time off when they’re feeling burnt out, or just want to return to school.

And this Pay-to-Surf for television is ridiculous. Why can’t they just do ad placements within the show? Or divide the screen to make room for scrolling ads on the bottom. If commercial were more entertaining, people would watch them. Or do purchase and/or schedule an appointment for services through Tivo. Lots and lots of possibilities here as an alternative to prevent users to fast forward through advertising. Or do what BMW did with the short film series.


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